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Memphis Homeschool

Enrichment Cooperative


Adventurers Engineering

Posted by Jen Jackson on August 24, 2015 at 11:15 PM

Check out the photo album page for pictures of our weekly engineering projects. 

During our first class we learned that engineers are people who use math, science, and creativity to solve problems and began learning simplified steps of the engineering design process. We emphasized that engineering takes many tries and sometimes our ideas don't work.
Then, we got our engineering feet wet by trying to design a poster stand for our engineering process poster; we built and tested models.

Categories: Adventurers

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Reply Jen Jackson
3:17 PM on August 26, 2015 
Week 2: We learned a little about what Civil Engineers do. Our design challenge was to create a tower to put a flag on; made from toothpicks, marshmallows, and gumdrops. Check your child's backpack for their project plan, and I will post pictures of their towers in the class photo album.
Reply Jen Jackson
4:19 PM on September 7, 2015 
Week 3: We talked more about Civil Engineers and started the design process for our next problem inspired by their fairy tail class "the troll took his bridge away so these goats need a new bridge to cross over to find food." Next week we will build bridges strong enough for, even more than 3, billy goats (made out of plastic) to cross.
We learned more about structure and about the forces pushing and pulling on things.
We colored a miniature version of our design process poster to display at home.
We read a great fiction story about Rosie the Riveter's great niece, Rosie who is a young engineer that needs to learn to keep trying.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:23 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 4 and most of week 5 were spent building bridges with one on one help. While they waited for their turn with the craft sticks and glue gun they enjoyed free play with civil engineering themed toys.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:25 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 5: As we finished up with civil engineering we jumped right into mechanical engineering with an introduction to the 6 simple machines.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:27 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 6: We continued our exploration of simple machines with a game that asked "what simple machine is this everyday object" Then we rotated through six stations that were supplied with examples of each simple machine to use and examine.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:30 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 7: After a quick review of simple machines we began our exploration of levers. The Adventurers were challenged to design and build a lever that would deliver a marshmallow from the floor, through the air, and onto the table. For extra fun we put a small box on the table, a few were able to get their marshmallows into the box.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:34 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 8: In our 8th class we used wheels and axles and inclined planes to solve some, lego mini figures' problem. The poor lego people are unable to move from one place to another on their own, so the Adventurers designed and built cars for their lego mini figs to travel on. Then they took them out to the ramp that leads to the fellowship hall to test their creations on the inclined plane.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:41 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 9: Week 9 was one of my favorite classes with your young engineers. We began our discussion about electrical engineers. First they needed to understand a little about electricity. We began with what an atom is and what it's parts are then moved on to electrical current. We formed a circle with a piece of a marble run in the middle. Using marbles to represent electrons and each participant to represent an atom, we passed the electrons from a basket I was holding (I was the battery) from atom to atom, using the marble to turn the "motor" then passing them on around the circle and back to the battery basket.
They also had an opportunity to see a simple circuit be wired together (battery and motor) and a homemade switch do it's job in the circuit.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:43 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 10: After we made our pretend circuit with marbles again (because it was just that fun) we split into small groups to explore simple electrical circuits using Snap Circuits. We finished off the class by drawing designs for their custom engineered flashlights, to be built during the final class of the semester.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:48 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 11: I used week 11 as our review week because we had extra friends in our class for open house day. We reviewed what engineers do and went over the engineering process again, emphasizing the part where you keep testing and improving over and over until you're satisfied with the results. For our engineering challenge I asked them each to choose from a big pile of materials and come up with their own problem to solve using what they chose. They drew designs on paper then spent the rest of the hour creating, testing, and improving their projects.
Reply Jen Jackson
7:51 PM on December 27, 2015 
Week 12: For the last class of the semester I brought back all of the engineering toys so that the Adventurers could enjoy free play engineering while they waited for their turn to do their final Electrical Engineering project. Using the designs they drew during our 10th class, they used LED's wire, paper fasteners, paper clips, and electrical tape to wire their own custom engineered flashlight with a homemade switch.